Nigel Pelham jailed for nearly two years for posting racial hatred on Facebook

A MAN has been jailed for nearly two years for attempting to stir up racial hatred on Facebook.

Unemployed Nigel Pelham, 49, suggested Britain should introduce “bomb a mosque day” and invited his Facebook followers to “put a Muslim on top of a bonfire.”

He pleaded guilty to eight counts of publishing threatening written material intending to stir up religious hatred between February 24, 2015 and November 16, 2015, at Lewes Crown Court in March.

Last week he was sentenced at Blackfriars Crown Court, London, to 20 months for each of the eight counts to run concurrently.

He was also ordered to pay a £100 victim surcharge and had two hard drives and his computer confiscated.

The charges are not used very often and are so serious they needed apporval from the Attorney General.

Pelham, of Freehold Street, Shoreham, previously denied the charges when he appeared before magistrates in Worthing last month.

Sergeant Peter Allan, from Sussex Police’s hate crime unit, said: “The charges brought in this case are extremely serious and were only brought against four people in England and Wales during 2016.

“Nigel Pelham used Facebook to express some truly offensive views, with no understanding of how serious his actions were.

“Many people see social media as a harmless and sometimes faceless place to air their opinions, however I hope this shows we will not tolerate this type of behaviour and will act when someone reports their concern about what someone is posting.”

He sentencing came just days before a man drove a van into a crowd of Muslim worshippers in north London. One man died and several others remain in hospital.

Sgt Allan said: “I hope the sentence acts as a deterrent and sends a reassuring message to those who may be directly targeted or are more widely affected by people’s use of social media to spread messages of fear and hate. I encourage people who witness such content, to report it to the provider of the social media platform, but such reports can also be made to us online.”

Brighton Argus

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